Chief bushfire control officer for the Shire of Toodyay Craig Stewart begun his career in 1998.

National honours for state firemen

State Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson says its heartening to see the firefighters hard work recognised.
February 1, 2024

FOUR Western Australian firefighters have been recognised in the Australia Day honours list and awarded the Australian fire service medal – with one working in Toodyay and another beginning his career within the Shire of Kalamunda.

Chief bushfire control officer for the Shire of Toodyay Craig Stewart and superintendent of the Nambeelup Bushfire Centre of Excellence Craig Garrett were awarded the Australian fire service medal.

Mr Garrett’s career started in the Shire of Kalamunda where he was a fire control officer before he joined the Department of Fire and Emergency Services in 2009 as the Mundaring community emergency services manager and chief bushfire control officer.

In 2012 he was promoted to north-east metropolitan district officer, before gaining himself the title of the inaugural superintendent of the Bushfire Centre for Excellence in 2019.

“A cool head under pressure, Mr Garrett’s strong communication skills and calm and collected approach have been vital to keeping the public safe and informed when disaster strikes,” Mr Garrett’s nomination said.

Mr Stewart began his 25-year long career as a volunteer firefighter in 1998 with the Toodyay Central Bush Fire Brigade before becoming  a fire control officer for Shire of Toodyay in 2010, and in 2014 he was promoted to chief bushfire control officer.

The last nine years has seen him work closely within the Wheatbelt educating the community on the dangers of bushfires and helping ensure they’re prepared each season.

“Mr Stewart’s exceptional incident management skills came to the fore at the Avon Valley Bushfire in January 2023, where he was part of the incident management team that bought several bushfires under control that had broken out in the area under control within 24 hours before the flames could destroy lives or homes,” Mr Stewart’s nomination said.

The other two Western Australian fire service medal recipients were the Shire of Capel’s chief bushfire control officer Christopher Scott and the late Ronald Winstone, who was credited with almost single-handedly saving the Geraldton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service from the brink of collapse in 2012.

State Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson congratulated the state’s recipients of the fire service medal.

“Each recipient has displayed dedication, selflessness and bravery in different areas of the WA fire service,” he said.

“These outstanding firefighters don’t seek accolades, but it’s heartening to see them recognised nationally for decades of loyal service to their community.”


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